WorldView-3, the world’s first multi-payload, super-spectral, high-resolution commercial satellite for earth observations and advanced geospatial solutions, launched into orbit on Aug. 13 aboard an Atlas rocket. Operating at an expected altitude of 617 km, WorldView-3 will have an average revisit time of less than one day and will be capable of collecting up to 680,000 square kilometers of imagery per day. Its data-rich imagery will discover new sources of minerals and fuels, manage forests and farms, and accelerate DigitalGlobe’s exploitation of Geospatial Big Data™ – a living digital inventory of the surface of the Earth.
The data should lead to much nicer imagery in online mapping services from companies like Google and Microsoft (both of which are DigitalGlobe customers), although it's not just cosmetic. Higher-res photos will help track large farms, spot mineral deposits and otherwise deliver a clearer view of our planet that has previously been limited to the government -- don't be surprised if it's easier to spot landmarks on a map without using markers.